tv [untitled] April 13, 2012 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
i just want to follow up. president ahmadinejad's term ends next year. are there election factors in iran that perhaps we're not thinking of that could impact the discussions about iran's capabilities? if you could each just gave really quick thought on that. >> i think frankly the president -- ahmadinejad has been extraordinarily marginalized. he's basically had a fight with the supreme leader over the past couple years and he's lost decisively. and not only has he lost, but i think actually the office of the presidency itself has been weakened and that the supreme leader has tried to put the presidency back in the box. i don't think that whoever is the next president of iran is likely to be a game changer if for no other reason because you don't get to run for president unless the supreme leader agrees that you're okay. and so i guess he thought mu w
moussaoui was fine but afterwards not so much. i don't see the 2013 election as being a game changer. the only thing is it could do is complicate diplomacy for all the reasons that a heated moment complicates it. it allows sides to play politics with the issue instead of settling it. it's already having that effect in our country. i don't know why we shouldn't expect it to have a similar effect in iran going through its own presidential elections. >> dr. craig? >> i agree with colin on that point. >> okay. yes, sir. >> my name is peter. a ten-second comment and then a question. the comment is that negotiating with iran is a little bit like the hokeypokey, you're in, you're out. there's a slew of other negotiations that involve -- that are two decades or more. so we have to take that within context. my question is the doctor said -- one of your points was that in 60 years there have been
nine countries that have violated -- yeah, nine countries. already we have not only the three countries both that you mentioned, egypt, turkey, and saudi arabia, but also algeria, bahrain, and you nated arab emirate s, all signatories to the npt, have also announced nuclear programs. pakistan is now building two more heavy-water plutonium processing plants, a second chemical processing plant. so within the context -- you know, the nine countries are within the context of u.s./soviet competition. now we're within the context in the middle east in the sunni/shia froserocity. doesn't that change the likelihood of more countries getting nukes? >> you know, it could, although i think we have to be very careful. one country you mentioned was the uae and we should hope every country in the world develops
its nuclear program the way the way they did because they've given up the right to domestic enrichment so there's no possibility for proliferation as long as it sticks to that agreement. look, a lot of countries have nuclear programs. it's allowed under the npt. that was the bargain, in exchange for not building nuclear weapons, you're allowed a civilian nuclear program. the npt has built into it the risk of nuclear hedging. as long as the treaty is the way it is, you'll have actors engaged in nuclear hedging. the question is whether they'll push that into developing an active program for developing nuclear weapons. we've not seen that in a lot of countries. they do the hokeypokey but move back and not go all the way in lots of circumstances. a handful of states reversed course pretty close to the end. and we're not helpless to do things about it. in the event iran fully consummated its nuclear program, we might be able to use security guarantees and sanctions and other thins. there aren't a lot of countries
on earth that would like to go through the experience that north korea and iran goes through, in terms of being licenlie sensed and sanctions. only a handful of countries are willing to go through that much pain to get a nuclear program. i through already a lot of options to address of the concerns you raised. >> one of the reasons colin is more optimistic than i am that we won't get a proliferation cascade in the middle east is because we've never seen it historically. i disagree with that. with china in the 1960s, u.s. intelligence analysts said if china gets nuclear weapons, it could lead to a cascade in asia. japan, taiwan, pakistan, other countries could develop nuclear weapons. some did, and pakistan and other countries didn't. i think we're likely to see the same thing in the middle east. some of the countries probably won't get nuclear weapons, ohs probably will. i think we will see some
proliferation response. colin said one of the things we can do to tamp down the proliferation demand in the region is to provide security guarantees to countries. and that's right, but think through that with logic. that's a pretty big increase in u.s. military commitments to the region. colin is talking about signing defense pacts with the gulf, maybe israel, so threaten to fight a nuclear war? would we be willing to trade new york for riyadh in a nuclear war? incredible threat the way we would try to make that credible is the way we would in the cold war. probably have to station u.s. soldiers on the soil of those countries, deploy nuclear weapons in case we got dragged into a conflict. there are things we can do to prevent proliferation but serious costs with those as well. >> diana lady dugan, center for strategic and international studies and cyber century form and former state department.
ironically, matt, you brought up a point that i wanted to actually ask about with the disclaimer that analogies are very, very dangerous. why is there not more focus on the idea of a very limited coalition? i'm not talking about a whole national security guarantee or a mini nato. but one thing is a lot of those countries in the middle east, even saudi arabia, really doesn't want to spend its money on nuclear capabilities. they want to be able to assure their people that they're protected. a colleague of mine, mika brzezinski, has sort of tossed out an idea that seems to make a lot of sense, and that is that we should look at starting to build a coalition, but, again, disclaimer about analogies to others, with saudi arabia, with
turkey, with the gulf states, and a number in the region that attack against any -- or one is an attack against any. and it has a number of elegant elements to it. and obviously one is the long-term arab/persian conflict, shias, sunnis. there are a lot of reasons far beyond the united states and far beyond israel for the rest of the middle east to want to wall off without having to be able to compete with iran or totally cozy up to the united states. so i guess my question to you all is why is not more being done on this? this has to be done on a longer term, and it doesn't have to be a big coalition that requires treaties and these kinds of thins. but i think it would really get the iranians' attention. and is no one doing anything on this? and if not, why not? >> dr. craig?
>> it's a good question. part of the problem is we have these three different paths and we're not in my view properly planning for any of them. you know, it's not clear to me what our strategy is going into these negotiations, what we're willing to accept and offer the iranians if we're serious about military action. i think there are things we could be doing that we're not as i talked about building a coalition. and the deterrence and containment set. i think that requires some real planning. it's not clear to me that's going on. part of the reason might be that it's difficult to plan for a nuclear-armed iran when your stated policy is to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. so i think developing those kind of proposals for how we would deal with a nuclear-armed iran are things better developed outside of think tanks and yumpts and other places. it's difficult for the administration to do that i think for political reasons. >> yeah. i mean, i wouldn't even say political. just diplomatic. i mean, the problem is the
minute that you signal that you're doing intensive planning on a containment and deterrence architecture inside the pentagon for a nuclear-armed iran, you signal to the israelis that they better strike now because we're not willing to. you signal to the saudis that, you know, we're willing to live with a nuclear iran. i'm not saying that's brzezinski's view or -- [ inaudible ] if you imagine this as a security guarantee that applies in the aftermath of iran getting a nuclear weapon, it's a form of extended deterrence. i haven't read all the details of dr. brzezinski's proposal, and he says smart stuff all time so i don't want to misinterpret him. but i would be very cautious about having a limited club that left a lot of states out because you would signal that it's not okay to attack turkey or saudi arabia but because ohman's on the list, that's fine? we have a bad history actually
historically of leaving countries out of security umbrellas and then getting baited. we have to be careful of who's in the club and who's not. i don't think a formal treaty is necessary. you could have a declaratory policy that the middle east and the gulf in particular and israel are in the fundamental national interests of the united states -- that's not news to anybody -- that we will resist any effort by outside powers to change orders or attack others with any means up to and including nuclear weapons, and that we actually wouldn't have to change our force posture all that much in the region to do this. we already have enough trip wire forces in the region. we have 40,000 u.s. forces in the region, 800 forces in saudi arabia that conduct training and others. if there's a war in the gusm, we're in it already. you don't need to deploy additional forces there. we may have to modify our nuclear posture in the event of
a nuclear iran, but there will at least be a period of time where iran doesn't have icbms and a period where they can't penetrate our missile defenses so it will be a long time before they can hold the u.s. at risk. but we'll be able to hold iran at risk forever with our nuclear and conventional capabilities. i think our ability to deter iran is a little higher than people presume, and i don't think it would take a lot of radical shifts in the posture we already have in the region. i would be cautious about going down the formalized route if for no other reason i think countries like saudi arabia and turkey wouldn't want to be part of formal arrange. s. it's not their style. they would be much more comfortable with this informal declaratory posture. >> yes, ma'am. final question. >> hi. my name is barbara. i had two quick questions. first, i was wondering if you think a pacifist campaign coming directly from the israeli population, i don't know if you've heard about the campaign.
iranians, we love you. that's going around israel. do you think a campaign like that could change the course of international relations between israel and iran? and if a war were to come, what do you think would be the role of arab spring countries given the fact that -- i mean a lot of them are led now by factions that aren't exactly pro israel or keen with regard to israel? >> thank you. >> so, you know, i think these movements in israel are important, although i would say there are similar movements on the palestinian issue and it hasn't led to a cure on that. we need to be cautious about too much optimism. if you look at the polling in israel, it's a little complicated. the israeli public is clearly divided about whether military action against iran, specific israeli military, is a good idea or not. it becomes more complicated if you ask would you support israel unilaterally if the americans
opposed it? the vast majority would not. in that sense they're probably out of step where prime minister netanyahu and ehud barak are because i think they would be willing to take action without the united states. said as much in his apac speech. as it relates to the arab spring, we don't know, but i think we need to be very careful about either israeli or american action in the current context because of the renal nal dimics. for one thing, it would allow iran to play the victim and through its retaliation against us or israel's resuscitated street cred as the champion of resistance in the region, something that's suffered in the arab spring, a popular phenomen phenomenon, and as a consequence, the appeal in the region is in the toilet right now and i think an attack would allow them to start to pull up from that dissent. i also think it would allow islamists in the muslim brotherhood and other who is don't like the iranians very much to nevertheless use a
strike against another muslim country to demonize the israelis, to demonize the americans. so as populism takes hold in this part of the world more and more, we have to worry about the arab street more and more and their reaction. a lot of people will say, you know, in palaces in riyadh and abu dhabi and elsewhere, they'll be clapping if you cut the head off the snake. that may be true. but on the streets of tunis and iran and beirut and baghdad and elsewhe elsewhere, they're not going to be clapping. will that make things more messy than they are now? probably. how much more i don't know. [ inaudible ]. >> -- convince the american people. >> i don't know what it means. certainly we don't want to wait until israel gets attacked by iran for that to happen. i think the way i would cast it is that's all the more reason why you stick with the
diplomatic route for as long as it's viable because you want the onus to be on iran to be the one that walked away from that process, and it's clearly seen as rejecting a genuine offer to have a peaceful solution. if they did that, then iran's ability to play the victim and play the international public i think would be undermined. >> dr. craig? all right. we've come to the point where it's time for our closing statements. we'll begin with dr. craig. >> i'll be brief. i'm really pleased that we are having this discussion. i wrote an article in foreign affairs in the january/february issue laying out the case for the military option on iran, and i took a lot of heat for it. but part of the reason i wanted to write the article is i was frustrated this fall by what i saw as a lack of a serious debate on what i thought was the most important national security issue facing the country. you know, i felt like we -- iran
was steadily marching towards a nuclear weapons capability, and a lot of people could have had their head in the sand, i think, putting all their eggs in the sanctions and diplomacy basket. as i said before, i'd be absolutely delighted if we could solve this through diplomacy, but i'm afraid that we can't, and i'm afraid at some point soon we'll have to make this tough choice between acquiescing to a nuclear-armed iran or taking military action. i was afraid we would wake up one morning and iran would have nuclear weapons, a situation that would be threatening to u.s. national security without having had this discussion. so i'm delighted simply to have the discussion. colin pointed out there are risks to a strike. i agree with that. colin pointed out that we have some time for diplomacy. i agree with that. i think we have less time than colin thinks. i think the risks of a strike
are less grave than colin said. but nothing colin said leads me to back away from my conclusion, if we're faced with this difficult choice, a strike is the least bad option. >> thank you. >> you know, i think, actually, the tone of -- and the assumptions that one brings into this issue are really important. you know, and i think ultimately matt and i have done this now four or five times. it's like barnum & bailey. we go from city to city doing this thing. the problem i ultimately have, i think my discomfort kmcomes from the fact that on the one hand i'm nervous about adeveloping worst-case assumptions about the implications of a nuclear iran when i think the argument is more complicated. i think it's really bad, not as bad as some argue. but nevertheless, we have to be cautious about worst-case assumptions, why, because in the lead-up to the war in iraq in 2003, a war that costs 4,500 americans their lives, 33,000
wu wounded, more than 100,000 iraqis dead, millions of refugees, a trillion dollars and growing, we adopted worst-case assumptions about a phantom ness. we have to be careful not to do that. the second thing is i think we need to be very careful about having worst-case assumptions about the prospects for diplomacy because we can very easily talk ourselves into saying that's it, that's the last straw, that meeting didn't go well, that's it. now it's time for military action. and i think -- i don't think matt's saying that. but i think that a lot of people who pick up on matt's arguments and wield them about in this town in congress, on some talk shows and others, do make that pertinent, that they're basically waiting, they're looking for any sign that sanctions or diplomacy have failed, not because they want them to succeed but because they want war. and we have to be careful about that. and then lastly, we have to be very careful about adopting best-case assumptions about how the war will go and what the
aftermath will be like, because all we know about wars -- you know, i've been involved in pentagon stuff for a long time now, and the old cliche in the pentagon, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. all right? it doesn't. the war with will not go the way matt proposed or how i said it will. it will go on some uncertain trajectory. but in a region that is extraordinarily unstable, where there's already extraordinary uncertainty, in a global economy that's just now pulling out of the great recession, it's time to be cautious and to not fall prey to best-case assumptions about how easily the war will go, how much time it will buy, how easy it will be to bottle up iran in the aftermath. so reject the worst-case assumptions, but be equally skeptical about the best-case assumptions as it relates to war. the good news is i'm just not as pessimistic about diplomacy at the end of the day i think as
matt is. i don't think there's going to be a breakthrough in the coming months. but the iranians are really hurting. the regime is hurting. i think the supreme leader has made certain moves inside his government has made some moves to give him some freedom of action to dial back the tension a little bit so we'll have to see in the coming months whether he's willing to dial back some of the nuclear activities that are driving the israeli strike clock to be spinning as quickly as it is. it's not just the iranians who want to buy time. we all need to buy time. we all need to slow the program down to buy time over the next year or two or so to reach a final resolution to this issue. i think in this point, i would basically agree with president obama. there is no military solution short of invasion and occupation that creates a permanent solution to this problem, only a diplomatic outcome creates an enduring solution. so we should give every opportunity for diplomatic success before rushing into war. thanks a lot. >> let's thank our guests
tonight. thank you so much. and thank you for joining us. this afternoon republican presidential candidates mitt romney and newt gingrich will address the national rifle association's annual meeting held in st. louis. we'll also hear remarks from former candidates, rick santorum and rick perry, as well as house majority leader eric cantor. you can see the event live today starting at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. you can also watch online at
cspan.org or listen on c-span radio. i walked out after the iowa caucus victory and said "game on." i know a lot of folks are going to write, maybe even those at the white house, "game over." but this game is a long, long, long, long way from over. we are going to continue to go out there and fight to make sure that we defeat president barack obama, that we win the house back and that we take the united states senate and we stand for the values that make us americans, that make us the greatest country in the history of the world, that shining city on the hill, to be a beacon for everybody for freedom around the world. >> and with that announcement, rick santorum ended his 2012 presidential bid, a process the former pennsylvania senator began in 2009. follow the steps he took along the road to the white house online at the c-span video library with every c-span program since 1987.
this weekend on news makers, we take a look at some of the most competitive senate races this year. our guests are the heads of the democratic senate campaign committee and the national republican committee. news makers sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. the obama administration's 2013 budget request for the federal communications commission is $347 million. among the fcc's priorities next year, expanding high-speed internet access in rural areas and freeing up more air waves for wireless communications. julius genachowski and robert mcdowell testified on capitol hill last month about their agency's budget. the hearing will come to order. i'd like to welcome our two witnesses, chairman genachowski and commissioner mcdowell from the federal communications commission.
thank you all for being here today and for testifying on the fcc's fiscal 2013 budget request. while the fcc is funded by fees, congressional oversight over your budget is an important check on agency activities. this committee is committed to fiscal responsibility and we intend to make sure that all agencies under the subcommittee's jurisdiction are operating both efficiently and effectively. the fcc is an agency that plays an important role in our country's telecommunication, television, radio, internet and cable industries. these are services that are critical to american communication and business. and with technology changing faster and faster, and the fact that you all have to keep up, it's amazing that you can do so while not hindering innovation. overregulation of american communications systems hurts our economy at a time when we're still coming out of a recession.
and i will say, and chairman genachowski knows this, that i still have serious concerns about the net neutrality order as well as the commission's proposed disclosure of broadcasters' political files, which we will talk about after you all testify. while i appreciate the agency's eagerness, i think in many cases, it would be helpful to slow down and consider the ramifications of commission rule making in lots of different areas. i should also note that you have made some inroads in reforming the universal service fund. however, i think there are some serious concerns about the fund that have yet to be addressed and just so you all know, i heard a lot about this while i was home last week. we do appreciate the job that both you and your staffs do and once again, i welcome you and i look forward to your testimony. now i'd like to recognize my friend and colleague joe serrano for his opening statement. >> thank you so much, madam
chair. you should know that whenever we meet here the first thing we discuss quietly here is baseball. but today we're discussing the fact that both of our district plans for our future political districts are in the federal courts and we have no idea where we're running this year. >> actually, i think ours have been in the federal courts and state court. this is in the state supreme court back to the federal court. and i'm not sure that most judges undertake their judicial responsibilities thinking they are going to draw congressional lines at the same time. >> let the record reflect that arkansas is done. >> missouri was actually third done and then we had a lawsuit filed very late. >> we measured twice and cut once in arkansas. >> amazing. thank you, madam chair.
i would like to join you -- i shouldn't have started that. i would like to join you in welcoming chairman genachowski and commissioner mcdowell. like many of the agencies we deal with, the fcc plays a vital role in our everyday lives even though much of its important work takes place behind the scenes. the role of the fcc grows in scope and importance as technology becomes more affordable and as more people have access through the internet through a variety of devices. i will be interested in hearing whether with these rapid innovations you have the resources to ensure consumers are protected in the marketplace. as improvements in technology give more people access, that means that resources move online and, therefore, internet access has become vital to being able to get a good education, find a job or simply to connect with family around the world. therefore i'm interested in the steps you're taking to broaden access and make sure that everyone who wants access can get it. one way to increase access to broadband is by allowing more
spectrum to be used for that purpose. i know in the upcoming year the goal for the fcc is to increase the available spectrum for broadband uses through kongsally mandated spectrum auctions. i look forward to hearing more details about how you plan on conducting these auctions and what your expected results of them to be. we will have time to discuss these issues as well and other priorities during the question period, so for now i want to thank you both for your service and for appearing before us today, and please make sure that my new ipad works properly. make sure nothing interferes. thank you. >> you have the new, new one? oh, pass it over. pass it over. i now recognize -- now recognize the chairman. chairman genachowski. if you could try to limit your opening remarks to five minutes
that will give us more time for questions, thanks. >> thank you very much. members who are here, i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you on the fcc 2013 budget. i'm proud to say that few if any federal agencies deliver a higher return on investment than the fcc. spectrum auctions have raised more than $50 billion for the u.s. treasury in the past two decades. economists regard the economic value created by fcc auctions as being about ten times that number about $500 million in value. a few weeks ago, congress authorized the fcc to conduct voluntary incentive auctions. a new market based mechanism to repurpose spectrum for flexible use such as mobile broadband. incentive auctions which i'm proud to say were originally suggested by the fcc two years ago are an opportunity to unleash vitally needed additional spectrum for mobile broadb